Lambert delighted with vital win
Published 17/03/2013 | 14:46
Liverpool fan Rickie Lambert is "still pinching himself" after his impressive first season in the top-flight continued as Southampton overcame his boyhood club.
The 31-year-old saw his first-half free-kick deflect in off Daniel Sturridge to put relegation-threatened Saints on course for an invaluable 3-1 victory at St Mary's - his 13th of the season, making him the top English scorer in the Barclays Premier League.
Lambert said: "I am still pinching myself. I am really enjoying the season."
With talk of a call-up to Roy Hodgson's national side, it is a far cry from the beetroot factory he worked in little over a decade ago and the years spent plying his trade in the lower leagues.
"Obviously there have been some lows but the highs have been unbelievable and I am confident there are plenty more to come in my career, hopefully at Southampton. It is going really well but we're still not safe, there are still points to be taken, but the lads are absolutely buzzing after that result. I think everybody knows the relationship I have with Liverpool.
"It was a massive game and my family were there, but obviously I am professional and my main focus was to try and get three points. I am just over the moon that my goal helped get three points."
It is a victory that gives Southampton a seven-point cushion over the drop zone ahead of Sunday's fixtures.
"It was massively important that we got the three points," Lambert said. "I think we have been unlucky these last few weeks and deserved a few more points than what we've got.
"But I don't really like saying that, I am just happy to say we got the three points. You can say all day that you're unlucky and that, but it is the points that matter and we managed to get the points along with a great performance, which is even better."
The defeat of Liverpool was a relief for Southampton as all too often their performances have not been rewarded with points. Saints have been praised for the high pressing game employed since Mauricio Pochettino replaced Nigel Adkins, although the win over Liverpool was just his second in eight matches at the helm.